Jon Jones is listed as a massive favorite, but is there any value in backing Anthony Smith as the underdog in UFC 235?
Reigning champions Jon Jones (23-1, 1 No-Contest) and Tyron Woodley (19-3-1) will look to defend their light heavyweight and welterweight titles, respectively, when they enter the Octagon in the main and co-main events of a stacked UFC 235 card at T-Mobile Arena this Saturday in Las Vegas.
Jones is listed as a massive -850 favorite (bet $850 to win $100) on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in a monster mismatch, with Woodley at -160 odds facing an opponent many believe could be the next 170-pound champ.
After scoring a third-round TKO victory over Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant 205-pound title at UFC 232 on December 29, Jones proved once again that he may be the best MMA fighter of all-time despite coming off a 17-month layoff following another suspension for a banned substance.
The 31-year-old's lone loss took place nearly 10 years ago, as he was disqualified for an illegal knee in a dominant performance against Matt Hamill. Outside of that blemish, he has rarely been tested, and his upcoming opponent Anthony Smith (31-13) does not figure to challenge him much as a large +525 underdog (bet $100 to win $525).
Smith has won three straight bouts and is 6-1 in his last seven, but most of his recent wins have come against washed-up veteran fighters.
Woodley has a much bigger task ahead of him in rising star Kamaru Usman (14-1), who is a small +130 underdog. Usman is riding a 13-bout winning streak that includes a perfect 9-0 mark since joining the UFC. The 31-year-old native of Nigeria made his promotional debut in The Ultimate Fighter 21 welterweight tournament and won it with a second-round arm-triangle choke submission win over Hayder Hassan.
Usman picked up a Performance of the Night bonus in earning a unanimous-decision nod against former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos in his last fight on November 30.
Meanwhile, the current welterweight champ is 6-0-1 in his past seven bouts, although he has been criticized often for not being flashy enough in retaining his title belt. But Woodley's best fight may have taken place at UFC 228 last September 8 when he submitted Darren Till by D'Arce choke in the second round, getting him a Performance of the Night bonus. That said, Usman is a tougher foe and will upset him as a best bet.